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    • 308 posts
    September 14, 2018 12:44 pm IST
    Pete Carroll insisted again that he’s not going anywhere. He’s intent on remaining the leader of the Seattle Seahawks even if it means many of the faces he spoke to this week while closing out the 2017 season are gone by the time Carroll finally gets to coach his team again.

    ”I’m pumped up about it. I’m excited about that challenge [url=http://www.seahawkscheapstore.com/nick-vannett-jersey-cheap]Nick Vannett Jersey[/url] ,” Carroll said Tuesday. ”I’m upset that we have to face it this early. I’d like another six weeks here, that would be nice. But that’s not what this one is. We got to go after it. Nothing’s going to change other than maybe our resolve.”

    For just the second time in his eight years in Seattle, Carroll spent Tuesday explaining why the Seahawks were not in the postseason. It’s the first playoff miss for Seattle since the 2011 season and with the rapid rise of division foe Los Angeles indicated – at least for one year – a significant change in the hierarchy of the NFC West.

    Injuries played a major role in Seattle’s slide to 9-7. So, too, did inconsistency on offense, continued problems with penalties and salary cap constraints that limited adjustments the Seahawks could make during the season.

    It’s likely to be a busy offseason as Seattle attempts to manage its tight cap situation while making key decisions about how to move forward and if it still is a championship contender needing slight tweaks or a major overhaul.

    ”I think there is a championship team sitting in this meeting room right here,” Carroll said.

    Here are some of the issues to know about Seattle’s 2017 season and going into next year:

    REDISCOVER THE RUN: Perhaps nothing irritated Carroll more, or had a great impact on the efficiency of the offense, than Seattle’s inability to run. It’s been a staple of Carroll’s program from the day he arrived in Seattle.

    This year the Seahawks had one rushing touchdown by a running back. Quarterback Russell Wilson was the leading rusher with 586 yards, 346 more than any other player. Seattle had hopes for promising rookie Chris Carson, but he was sidelined by an ankle injury early in the season and never made it back. The lack of a running game affected Wilson as a passer as well [url=http://www.ravenscheapstores.com/c.j.-mosley-jersey-cheap]C.J. Mosley Jersey[/url] , as defenses didn’t have to commit an extra safety to stopping the run, leading to smaller throwing windows and some tentative decisions by Wilson.

    ”There are tremendous examples of teams around the league that have turned their fortunes around with a formula that should sound familiar to you: teams running the football, playing good defense and doing the kicking game thing,” Carroll said.

    INJURY CONCERNS: Carroll wouldn’t get into specifics, but there is a chance Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor have played their final games. Avril and Chancellor suffered neck injuries during the season. Carroll said on the radio Tuesday that both would have a ”hard time” playing football again. A couple of hours later, he softened his stance, saying each have quality-of-life decisions to address with their football future.

    ”Both those guys are marvelous people and competitors and all that. We’d love to see them through the rest of their career. I don’t know what’s going to happen there,” Carroll said.

    LEGION OF WHOM: If Chancellor does not return, it could be the start of a major makeover for Seattle’s secondary. Richard Sherman is coming off a torn Achilles tendon and was openly shopped by Seattle last offseason. Earl Thomas is entering the last year of his contract and his actions toward the end of the season indicated a desire to be elsewhere for the 2018 season.

    A big key will be if Seattle can re-sign versatile safety Bradley McDougald after he played both free and strong safety this season.

    HOME-FIELD AVERAGE: Seattle went 4-4 at home, its first .500 record at CenturyLink Field since 2011. The Seahawks have always thrived at home, but some of their uglier performances this year came in front of their own fans.

    OFF THE FIELD: Seattle was among the most active teams in the league with a significant number of players participating in national anthem protests. The protests [url=http://www.patriotscheapstore.com/kyle-van-noy-jersey-cheap]Kyle Van Noy Jersey[/url] , on top of the incident Michael Bennett had with police in Las Vegas in August, created a number of unexpected issues.

    Carroll said he believed that only once this season – Seattle’s loss at Tennessee – did discussions of off-field issues affect the team’s performance. Seattle had long discussions following comments by President Donald Trump about NFL players and opted to remain in the locker room as a team during the anthem before that game.

    ”That was an extraordinarily heated time,” Carroll said. ”I think that was a different amount of emotional output that occurred before the game and it looked like it the way we played.”



    In the two-week run-up to the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots will face plenty of questions about two things critical to the team’s success: Tom Brady’s right hand and Rob Gronkowski’s head.

    Brady answered most of the concerns about whether the hand injury would hinder him with a strong performance in New England’s AFC championship game victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    Gronkowski, meanwhile, will likely spend at least part of this week going through the concussion protocol. He suffered the injury on a helmet-to-helmet hit from Jacksonville safety Barry Church.

    The game-changing tight end is Brady’s favorite target, and he missed last season’s Super Bowl run after undergoing season-ending back surgery.

    There was no update from the Patriots on Gronk’s status Monday, but he was at the facility for team meetings.

    ”He was in pretty good spirits today when I spoke to him,” special teams captain Matt Slater said.

    Recently, New England has fared well when Gronkowski has been sidelined. But that hasn’t always been the case.

    The Patriots had plenty of time to adjust to his absence in 2016, when he played just eight games before the surgery. They also had Martellus Bennett to pick up the slack.

    Since the start of last season [url=http://www.raiderscheapstore.com/connor-cook-jersey-cheap]Connor Cook Jersey[/url] , New England is 12-1 without Gronk. In those games, the Patriots’ points per game actually increased from 28.6 to 28.8, although their yards per play declined from 8.1 to 7.6.

    The offense was also better without him on third down and in the red zone. Over the past two seasons it converted on 49.3 percent of its chances on third down and scored touchdowns on 66 percent of its red zone trips without him, compared to 45 percent on third down and scoring touchdowns on 62.6 percent of red zone trips when he played.

    From his rookie season in 2010 through 2015, his absence had a much greater impact.

    The Patriots were 12-7 without Gronkowski over that span, averaging 31.5 points per game with him and 26.3 without him. The offense’s average yards per pass attempt also fell from 7.8 with him to 6.6 without him.

    Before he was injured, Gronkowski passed Dallas Clark to become the NFL’s career leader for postseason yards at the position. And if the concussion were to sideline him for the Super Bowl, there’s not much depth behind him. The only tight ends on New England’s roster are Dwayne Allen and Jacob Hollister.

    Allen has 10 receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown this season. Hollister has four catches for 42 yards and was inactive against Jacksonville.

    Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said there is always a plan to adapt to injuries.

    ”You have to make some adjustments. We always go into the game with a certain idea of how we want to try to play it,” he said. ”It certainly doesn’t always play out the way that you wanted it to or that you had hoped to or designed it to, but that happens in every game.

    ”So, everybody understands that that’s part of the game and when that happens [url=http://www.dolphinscheapstore.com/davon-godchaux-jersey-cheap]Davon Godchaux Jersey[/url] , you just have to embrace whatever role you need to take on to help the team win.”

    Brady still has stitches in his right thumb. He hopes to have them removed sometime this week, and he doesn’t expect the injury to be an issue once Super Bowl week arrives.

    ”And then I can just get out there and get normal treatment like I always do and be ready to go,” Brady said.

    ”This was a little injury at the end of the day. … I mean, I’ve had a lot worse injuries than this. If this was on my left hand, I could care less, but just based on where it was, we had to deal with it.”



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